Defining energy security takes more than asking around

TitleDefining energy security takes more than asking around
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsCherp, A.
Journal titleEnergy Policy

The recent contribution by Benjamin Sovacool proposes 20 dimensions and 320 indicators of energy security in Asia. However, the method for identifying these dimensions and indicators – 64 semi-structured interviews – has three shortcomings. First, Asian policy makers responsible for energy security are absent from the pool of respondents dominated by academics. Second, no prioritization or contextualization of energy security concerns is attempted, leading to an excessively long generic list. Third, no disagreements between the interviewed experts are accounted for. Future attempts to define energy security based on perceptions should involve relevant social actors, include mechanisms for discriminating between primary and secondary concerns and find ways to constructively report on disagreements.

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